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With Wisconsin only days away from being the 49th state to enact legislation that allows for the concealed carry of firearms, pressure is growing for Illinois to finally concede to its citizens the right of self-defense enshrined in the federal constitution.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Washington that the only occasions on which the United States Constitution is invoked with any reverence by the political establishment is when it appears to support the expansion of federal power. The topic du jour in the capital is the 14th Amendment, and whether it authorizes President Obama, in effect, to ignore the congressionally-imposed debt ceiling and instruct the Treasury to issue new debt to pay for old. For the record, the 14th Amendment’s Section Four states:

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 held major portions of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Act of 2002 an unconstitutional abridgement of the First Amendment's guarantee of "the freedom of speech." On Monday of this week, the Court also held a state law to be in violation of the same Bill of Rights guarantee, despite an attempt to justify it with the same high purpose the federal law proclaimed: an attempt to eliminate the corruption of elections by moneyed interests.

Wisconsin is now poised to be the 49th state to permit the carrying of concealed firearms, if Gov. Scott Walker signs into law a bill which passed the state’s house and senate with strong majority votes.

Once Walker signs the bill, Illinois will be the last state which utterly refuses to recognize the right of citizens to self-defense. An article for the Journal Sentinel (reprinted at wisconsinconcealedcarry.com) reports:

"We have proposed two amendments that we will have votes on today. One of them concerns the Second Amendment. I think it's very important that we protect the rights of gun owners in our country, not only for hunting, but for self-protection. And that the records of those in our country who own guns should be secret."

— Senator Rand Paul, speech before the U.S. Senate, May 26, 2011

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